Crash Ensemble

The Crash Ensemble, Founded in 1997 by composer and Artistic Director Donnacha Dennehy, is Ireland’s foremost contemporary music ensemble - a group of world-class musicians devoted to cutting edge contemporary music by mainly Irish, British and American composers.

The Ensemble has worked with many well-known artists from diverse musical backgrounds, such as Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Terry Riley, David Lang and Louis Andriessen.

The concerts of the CRASH Ensemble are characterised by a variety in pieces and programme, and of an energetic and vibrant atmosphere. The concerts are always amplified and often has a visual element or electronics involved. In the NewAud project one of their areas of focus was online medias as one way of reaching out to a larger and broader audience.

The concerts by Crash Ensemble resulted in the following resources:

Contemporary music taken to court

The Galway Ensemble in Residence: ConTempo Quartet and Crash Ensemble joined forces in ditching the concert hall and making the concert a more sociable experience. The local courthouse was chosen as the venue, and on the night of the concert a survey was handed out to learn more about the audience. The main goals of the survey were to build a localized profile of contemporary music audiences and gauge the effectiveness of the concert setting to the audience experience. This concert evaluation report describes the concert and the context of the New Aud project, and shares the findings and analysis from the audience research.

An all Nordic musical adventure

The Crash Ensemble invited the audience to an all Nordic concert in Dublin. The program presented composers from all five Nordic countries and the evening was co-curated by Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson, attracting a wide audience. A post show party ensured an informal atmosphere, and aligned the concert with popular music from the same region. This document describes the concert in brief.

Crash Ensemble

Founding Year: 
7- 11
Crash Ensemble
Artistic Director: 
Donnacha Dennehy & Kate Ellis
Chief Conductor: 
Alan Pierson
Contact Person: 
Neva Elliott
Crash Ensemble, O'Reilly Theatre, Great Denmark Street, Dublin 1
Number of annual concerts: 
11- 15

This ensemble is participating in the following Working Communities: